Upcoming smartwatches 2021: Exciting devices we're waiting for

Our list of confirmed smartwatches coming this year
Upcoming smartwatches 2021
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Smartwatches are the hottest property in tech right now, and despite still being early in 2021, there are plenty of upcoming devices to get excited about.

The focus in the early part of 2021 will be on budget smartwatches, as the quality of sub-$100 devices improves.

That's until the likes of Apple, Fitbit and Samsung look to refresh their line-ups in the second half of the year.

This affordable arms race is being driven by the same companies that tore up the rulebook for smartphones: the likes of Oppo, OnePlus, Xiaomi, ZTE and Huawei are all the busiest when it comes to new smartwatches.

Read on for our round-up of the upcoming smartwatches we're excited about.

Check our smartwatch reviews

Rumoured smartwatches for 2021

Upcoming smartwatches 2021: Exciting devices we're waiting for

While all of the below devices are either confirmed or have been spotted at regulators, there are plenty of other devices we're looking forward to this year.

The Apple Watch Series 7 will surely launch in September – and could offer a change in design for the first time since the Series 4.

We're also looking forward to Fossil Gen 6 smartwatches. Not only will this yield a new flagship device, but will provide a blueprint for the rest of the Fossil Group line-up including Skagen, Kate Spade and Michael Kors for the next two years.

We're also tracking the launch of the Vivoactive 5. While we've recently seen the Garmin Venu 2 surface, Garmin's other multisport smartwatch is one one the key members of its line-up, and we'd love to see it slim down and really embrace the intersection of smartwatch features and top sports tracking.

And the Versa 4 and Charge 5 could get a showing this year, and we're eager to see what the first devices launched under the new Fitbit/Google partnership will yield – this would come hot on the heels of the new Fitbit Luxe.

Finally, the Huawei Watch GT3 will be an important release. The GT2 has shown how Huawei can bring long battery life and top sports features, and we're hoping it can build on that with its new focus on third party apps.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 4

ETA: July 2021

Samsung Galaxy Watch 4

The Galaxy Watch 4 has now been confirmed by Samsung – and there's big changes ahead.

The rumors are true – the Galaxy Watch 4 will run on a new updated version of Wear OS, which is a joint venture between Google and Samsung. That means it will be able to tap into a host of newly improved apps and services – and the two companies are on a charm offensive to get developers on board to challenge Apple's App Store for quality.

We're not too sure about the specifics of the rest. We're not sure exactly what the Galaxy Watch 4 will look like, nor any specific features. We're expecting to hear more around MWC 2021 at the end of June.

You can read our full Samsung Galaxy Watch 4/Active 4 rumor round-up for a complete overview.

Huawei Watch 3

ETA: June 2021

Huawei Watch 3

The Huawei Watch 3 is official, and it's launching in June 2020. The revamped Huawei Watch 3 uses Harmony OS, Huawei's new custom operating system, and comes in four editions.

There's the Active and Elegant versions seen above with silicone and leather straps respectively, with an Elite model with a metal strap. There will also be a Huawei Watch 3 Pro with titanium body and a sapphire lens.

Now onto features: a temperature sensor joins an upgraded heart rate monitor with blood oxygen monitoring. It will keep tabs on stress and fatigue, as well as the usual health and activity metrics.

There's GPS and 100 sports modes – and the Watch 3 will also support LTE.

Battery life is quoted at three days if you use LTE and keep it in full power mode. You can switch to a battery saver mode, which retains health tracking, sleep monitoring and 14 sports modes and get 14 days of battery life.

And there's a bunch of apps for the newly designed OS – albeit the selection is pretty poor right now.

And now we know about pricing. As usual the Huawei Watch 3 isn't getting a US release (although will inevitably follow at some point). That in the UK pricing has been confirmed to be £349.99 for the standard editions and £499.99 for the Watch 3 Pro.

That is a lot higher than the standard Huawei Watch GT2 (and GT2e/GT2 Pro) editions – and goes right up against Samsung smartwatches. And with the design, feature mix and battery life – it makes a very good case as being the leading Premium choice for Android smartphone users.

Read our full guide to the Huawei Watch 3.

Moto G / Motorola One / Moto Watch (rumored)

ETA: June/July 2021

Moto G / Motorola One / Moto Watch

It looks as if the Moto 360 is coming back for a 4th generation – this time with three different versions: Moto Watch, Motorola One and Moto G.

CE Brands (a company that licences and reboots trusted brands) is behind the launch – two years after a misfiring attempt to bring back the Moto 360.

The Moto G looks to be getting a release first, with widely leaked materials indicating a June 2021 release date. Those materials suggest a Snapdragon 3100 powering Wear OS, with 1GB of RAM and 8GB storage. It’s very much the Moto 360 reimagined, out for a fourth generation.

The Moto Watch looks to have a square design and a passing resemblance to the Apple Watch.

And the Motorola One seems to be a premium version better materials, and more rumors suggest it will run the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 4100 platform. Both the Moto Watch and Morotola One are set to be launched in July 2020.

Casio G-SHOCK G-Squad Pro GSW-H1000

ETA: TBC

Casio G-SHOCK G-Squad Pro GSW-H1000

Casio has announced a new G-SHOCK smartwatch – and it runs Wear OS.

The GSW-H1000 is a beast, weighing in at 104g with dimensions rumored to be 65.6 x 56.3 x 19.5mm, which is frankly enormous – but that's what G-Shock lovers expect.

It also uses the dual display from the Casio Pro-Trek range, which blends a full color and low-res display to improve battery performance.

The main display is a 1.32 inch Colour TFT LCD with a 320 x 300 resolution, which doesn't match up to the brightest and boldest AMOLED smartwatch displays. This will switch off to reveal a Monotone LCD display for basic time keeping and data.

Casio hasn’t stated any estimates of battery life, or the processor on board – but we're hoping for Snapdragon Wear 4100.

And there are big sporty features with GPS, 15 trackable activities and 24 indoor workout profiles, rep tracking, the ability to download maps for offline use, VO2 Max for runners and a focus on road cycling.

Read our full guide to the G-SHOCK G-Squad Pro GSW-H1000.

Realme Watch 2

ETA: On sale in Malaysia now / Global TBC

Upcoming smartwatches 2021: Exciting devices we're waiting for

The Realme Watch 2 is now real and it seeks to pack in more features into a budget body than its predecessor that launched in early 2020.

It maintains a square look and features a 1.4-inch TFT 320x320 TFT touchscreen display. There's now up to 90 sports modes an optical heart rate monitor and an SpO2 sensor to monitor blood oxygen levels. It's also promising up to 12 days of battery life.

Once again though, this is one that will only work with Android phones. It's gone on sale in Malaysia for MYR 229, which works out to about $55. That's not far off the $50 the first Realme Watch costs, so if it does launch further afield it should stick around at that budget price point.

Wyze Watch

ETA: Out now / Global TBC

Wyze Watch

After the US-based company better known for its smart home gear launched a fitness band, we are now getting a Wyze smartwatch and it's a serious budget offering.

The $20 Wyze Watch comes in 44mm and 47mm size options with the smaller Watch packing a 1.4-inch LCD display and the larger option including a 1.75-inch screen.

Features-wise, you can expect daily activity tracking at the top of the list including sleep monitoring. It also finds room for a heart rate monitor and SpO2 to measure blood oxygen levels. It will also offer shortcuts to other Wyze devices, though unlike its Band there's no Amazon Alexa on board.

That's all wrapped up in a square design that carries a water resistant level that makes it only suitable for the odd splash of water, and certainly no swimming action.

It's now available in the US, with no details as yet if Wyze has plans to launch its watches in other countries and territories.

ZTE Watch Live

ETA: On sale in China now / Global TBC

ZTE Watch Live

The ZTE Watch Live sees a return to smartwatches for a company that dabbled in Wear OS and is now joining the likes of Xiaomi and Mobvoi's TicWatch GTX in serving up a smartwatch that's much kinder on your bank balance.

The square Watch Live packs in a 1.3-inch 240 x 240 TFT screen, which doesn't sound all that impressive. It does find room for the a heart rate monitor and an SpO2 sensor to take blood oxygen measurements.

There's the presence of 12 sports tracking profiles and there's the promise of anywhere up to 21 days of battery life, which gives it pretty impressive staying power on paper. You can also expect smartwatch staples like notification support, incoming call alerts and weather forecasts.

Priced at 249 yuan, that puts it around $38 and that's pretty cheap for a smartwatch. We'll be intrigued to see if this one makes it out of China sometime in 2021.

Zepp Z Titanium with ECG

ETA: On sale in China now / Global TBC

Zepp Z Titanium with ECG

Huami, which also makes the Amazfit brand watches, launched its Zepp E Square and Zepp E Circle watches and followed up with the more luxury-looking Zepp Z in November, which we are currently testing.

It's since announced a Zepp Z model in China that includes a desirable feature in the way of an ECG sensor. That means it matches the likes of Fitbit, Apple, Samsung and Huawei in offering medical grade-style heart rate readings with the view of detecting abnormalities in the heart among other more serious heart health insights.

Like its ECG-packing rivals, it's only available in China right now, so it remains to be seen whether it will launch elsewhere as it'll need to wrap up the appropriate regulatory approval to set the feature live.

ECG aside, it offers all the same features as the Zepp Z model available outside of China. That includes Huami’s BioTracker 2 PPG module to deliver optical based heart-rate monitoring, SpO2 tracking and stress detection wrapped up in classic watch styling, now with a fancier titanium alloy.

Google Pixel Watch (rumored)

ETA: October 2021

Google Pixel Watch (rumored)

It's the rumored smartwatch that has never gone away and with Google's acquisition of Fitbit, that speculation has surfaced once again.

The latest leaked information suggests it will be called Google Pixel Watch and the render above is based on what that leakster claims the smartwatch is going to look like.

Codenamed project 'Rohan' at Google HQ, the Pixel Watch will apparently feature a round, bezel-less look and will have 20 strap options. It's expected it could launch in October, which is usually a month Google chooses to launch new hardware.

We expect it of course to pack Wear OS, which has struggled to really impress. Google will surely hoping the Fitbit effect will help change that in time for when the Pixel Watch drops.

TicWatch E3 (rumored)

Upcoming smartwatches 2021: Exciting devices we're waiting for

It's been a couple of years since the sporty TicWatch E2 launched and Mobvoi could be ready to update the Wear OS and give us the TicWatch E3.

This picture is supposedly showing off a new smartwatch from Mobvoi with very little detail apart from revealing that it'll have two pushers on the right of the case, which would be a departure from the solo button used on the E2.

We can only speculate that it will likely be running Google's Wear OS instead of what's been packed onto its TicWatch GTX and GTH watches.

It could be a big end of year for Google's platform with big changes undoubtedly in the works now that it has completed the acquisition of Fitbit. That deal could benefit Wear partners like Mobvoi and rumored new smartwatches like this potential TicWatch E2 successor.